For such a major event in the racing
calendar, the Paris to Dakar rally just screams for a decent game to absorb
the gamer into the variety and diversity of the event. Acclaim have
clearly done their homework and won the licenses to the courses and vehicles
bringing about a true representation of the hot tarmac streets of Artois
to the sandy, scorching Sahara.
The game offers a wealth of bikes,
trucks and jeeps for you to choose from. All with their own mechanics,
advantages and drawbacks. The option to tweak with the engines, gears and
tyres to suit the courses will be music to the ears of wise rally fans
who understand the need for different car set ups for such contrastingly
Once in the driving seat, you learn
fast this is a very difficult game. Even by experimenting with different
vehicles and engines, the controls are incredibly sensitive and it took
me long time to come anything other than last in the qualifying stages.
I lost count at the number of times my co-pilot screamed at me “What are
you, doing?”. I often found myself asking the same thing.
The visuals are certainly very nice,
especially the city streets. Everything has been presented nicely with
pre-race commentary and some good use of official Dakar rally footage and
Dakar 2 is guaranteed to
test even the best console driver. Corners are tight and opponents are
very fast and a good deal of attention and practice is required to break
through Dakar 2’s solid exterior.
That said, it’s not all bad. Master
the fundamentals and you will find yourself speeding through quaint French
villages, dense Moroccan forests, vast African deserts on your way to Dakar,
but only the very best will have the skill and patience to bring the most
out of this ambitious title.